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Old 09-19-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
Huntersville , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2013
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1979 31ft Sovereign (North Carolina) - Design/Reno Advice?

Hi everybody!

My wife and I are now the proud owners of a 1979 31ft Rear BR Sovereign!! Longtime AS admirers but complete babies when it comes to renovating an AS, so I'm looking forward to gleaning wisdom from those who have gone before us.



Quick story time: We bought this Airstream out of a dream to see more of the world outside of our bubble & spend more time with our 2-yr-old son. He has a pretty rough genetic disorder called Fanconi Anemia, and will eventually need a risky bone marrow transplant. Not sure what the coming years will look like for our family, but we want to seize the time we have right now...thus the Airstream Dream! I work at the corporate HQ of a large retailer (the wonderful cube life!) and my wife is a self-employed photographer & moccasin-maker. We currently live in a 1918 North Carolina beauty of a home that's we've been working on for 3 years, so we're getting decently handy. We'll see if any of those skills transfer

Below are a few pics of the current state of our Airstream. Would love to hear any input you have on:

a) Design - the only non-negotiables that we have are keeping the rear bedroom space as our private area, adding some sort of private sleeping space for our son (maybe pull-out sofa/bed in the front rounded cove with a curtain?), a more open kitchen (countertops on both sides?), hardwoods (looking at cork right now), and some kind of lightweight tile in the bathroom. Our desired aesthetic is clean, lots of white on walls/trim, real wood accents & countertops, minimal furniture.

b) Renovation - if you've run into any of the issues that we will undoubtedly encounter, we'd love to hear how you worked it out (and how much it cost you ).




Missing exterior panel:

Issue with the large awning lock:

Hail damage to front window shade panel:


Just pulled out the old sofa & cove countertop last night:

Some corrosion on wires near the battery:


Peeling between the glass of all of the vista windows:



Some seepage from old plumbing:





Thanks in advance for any input! Glad to be a part of the Airstream Community!!
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:03 PM   #2
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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Howdy and welcome to you and your family, Dan! Sorry it took someone so long to reply to your message, but I'm guessing it's because you asked some very broad questions.

First, let me say that I think you have a very nice example of the late-'70s Sovereign, one which has an extraordinarily good body. Typically by now, the clearcoat would be pealing off, and there would be a fair amount of corrosion and dings. You don't have any of that, as far I can see form your photos. Do you think it could have been stored indoors?

It's been said on here many times that the first thing to do is to chase down and stop any and all leaks, so if you haven't already done it, that could be a good first project.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:11 PM   #3
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1977 31' Sovereign
Covington , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 59
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Welcome! What a great looking AS. Everything I see you need to do has been answered in the forums. Yes even the Vista windows (you will have to break the inner pane if you can't live with the peeling). Check out what I have done so far with my 77. You are in good hands here at the forums.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Airstream Forums mobile app
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyspaniel View Post
Hi everybody!

My wife and I are now the proud owners of a 1979 31ft Rear BR Sovereign!! Longtime AS admirers but complete babies when it comes to renovating an AS, so I'm looking forward to gleaning wisdom from those who have gone before us.
The major starting point is to weather proof the trailer.

Unless they have been replaced, all the exterior gaskets need replacing, especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets which only last 2 to 3 years.

Some where down the road, you should also check out the axles, since torsion axle rubber rods last about 25 years.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:24 PM   #5
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Dallas , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The major starting point is to weather proof the trailer.

Unless they have been replaced, all the exterior gaskets need replacing, especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets which only last 2 to 3 years.

Some where down the road, you should also check out the axles, since torsion axle rubber rods last about 25 years.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
Andy,

What other gaskets should one be concerned with replacing on the roof? I just finished installing new vents/gaskets. I've got the sewer vents and A/C on the list. Any others to look at?
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